Mercedes-Benz leaves DTM racing in favor of Formula E

For decades, Mercedes-Benz touring cars have been seen battling other marques bumper to bumper on the DTM circuits. The three letters stood for Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft in its first, 1984-1996 iteration; the series was cancelled for a few years in the late '90s as other makes quit and racing action would have consisted of solely Mercedes cars – that's how central the brand has been in DTM racing.

The series returned as Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in 2000, and has continued since. But Mercedes-Benz will quit racing in DTM after the 2018 series, eyeing a move to Formula E instead. In 2019-2020 Mercedes will join its old rivals in the electric Formula series, as Audi and BMW have announced their participation in recent years.

In DTM (and its International Touring Car Championship guise which saw races held outside Germany), Mercedes-Benz has amassed 10 driver titles along with 13 team and six manufacturer titles, consisting of 183 race wins. During those years, there have been some especially good-looking racing Benzes, one of which the ageless AMG-honed 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II, and some of the greatest racing drivers such as Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider.

"Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes", commented Toto Wolff, Mercedes-AMG motorsport director.

Wolff continues to praise Formula E as a technology test bed. "In motorsport like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and to explore innovative new projects. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series."

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